A Guide to Stamp Duty this Financial Year

Regardless of where you live in Australia, you’ll almost certainly be obliged to indulge in stamp duty upon purchasing a home. The biggest exception is if you are a first home buyer. In many states and territories, first home buyers qualify for stamp duty concessions. The rules change with each financial year, however, and the rates do too. While preparing to buy a home, it’s crucial to be aware of how much stamp duty you’re likely to owe to avoid an unpleasant surprise after your transaction is complete. Consider this step another part of preparing your home-buying budget.

Online Calculators

The easiest way to find out the current rate for stamp duty in your state or territory is by availing yourself of the numerous online stamp duty calculators that are out there. They’re easy enough to use. Typically, you just select the state or territory in which the property is located, input the total cost of the purchase and specify whether you’re a first home buyer and whether you’re buying a new house or an existing property. The calculator will then give you a rough estimate of how much you can expect to be assessed.

2014 Stamp Duty Rules for First Home Buyers

While other concessions may be available, the most popular and widespread of them all is the first home buyer stamp duty concession. Depending on the value of the property you’re buying and whether it’s new or established, you may be able to avoid paying stamp duty entirely.

For 2014, Western Australia has reduced the threshold for its first home buyer stamp duty concession. To qualify, you’ll be exempt from all stamp duty if you’re buying an established property that costs $430,000 or less. The concession then phases out for homes valued at $430,000 to $530,000. For new homes, there’s no stamp duty for homes valued at $300,000 or less, and sliding-scale concessions are offered for homes valued between $300,000 and $400,000.

In New South Wales, first home buyers are exempt from stamp duty when buying new homes valued at up to $550,000 and receive sliding-scale concessions for homes valued between $550,000 and $650,000.

In Victoria, the stamp duty concession increased to 40 percent on January 1 and will increase again to 50 percent on September 1.

In Queensland in 2014, a total stamp duty concession of $8,750 is available for first home buyers is offered on properties worth up to $505,000. The concession continues but is phased out for homes valued between $505,000 and $550,000.

Check your state or territory’s website for additional information regarding stamp duty costs and concessions in 2014.

The 5 Most Important Reasons to Save Money

In one of our recent blogs we talked about how to make a saving money easier. In today’s blog we’re going to look at 5 reasons that saving money is so important. The fact is, having enough to pay for everything you need, while a good thing, doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be putting aside some money every month. There are a lot of excellent, and vital, reasons that you should be saving money, especially if you aren’t in debt right now.

Reason 1. Saving up for a down payment on a new home. Simply put, if you have a large down payment that you can put on your home, your negotiating power increases substantially. You can get better interest rates, possibly get a bigger home and, over time, will pay a lot less in interest on your smaller mortgage.

Reason 2. Creating an emergency fund. We’ve talked about this in several blogs before but it’s well worth repeating. Having an emergency fund set aside, one that can cover from 6 to 12 months’ worth of expenses, could mean the difference between financial stability and bankruptcy. If you get hurt, lose your job or for whatever reason don’t have any income coming in, having an emergency fund set aside could literally save you from destitution.

Reason 3. Saving for a family vacation. Spending time with your spouse and children can create powerful, strong and lasting bonds as well as wonderful memories. A trip to Europe or a cruise around the Caribbean is something that you and your family will remember for many years. Frankly, you also don’t want to pay for your vacation with credit because, in two or three years’ time, the resentment you feel because you’re still paying it off might negate any fond memories you have.

Reason 4. Saving for an automobile. Paying for a car, whether new or used, with cash will give you a lot more purchasing power. Having cash in hand in an automobile dealership gives you negotiating power that simply can’t be ignored. Also, not having a car payment every month will allow you to do much more with your weekly paycheck.

Reason 5. Saving for your eventual retirement. We’ve talked about this quite a few times in the past as well, because saving for retirement is extremely important. The earlier you start the better as compound interest will greatly add to your “nest egg” once you hit your golden years. Most experts believe that you should put between 10 and 15% of your gross income aside for retirement and, if you have a 401(k) with an employer matching program, match those funds to the maximum every year. Outside of a 401k you can and should open a brokerage account so you can diversify, like investing with binary options strategies. Regardless of what you invest in, the more you put away early in life will be that much better for when you retire.

We hope you agree that those are five excellent reasons to save. There are others, to be sure, but we believe these are the most important. Saving money might not always be easy but, over a lifetime, could mean a huge difference in how you live your life and how you spend your time during retirement.

5 Money Saving Tips…

five_us_dollars_bills-otherAverage credit card debt owed by the average Briton is approximately 2k. Imagine how many monthly contributions that takes to pay off? We recommend you catch up on the plethora of New Year guides to saving money in 2014 that have been springing up during January to help you get on top of your debt and make your pennies stretch further.

Overhaul attitudes

A good place to start when thinking of saving money is to overhaul your attitude to money. Do you live ‘pay cheque to pay cheque’? If so, it may help for you to adopt a more organised and planned approach to the spending of any money. You may wish to be stricter with yourself about saving for the future, or merely getting into the habit of saving. Again a change of attitude towards savings can make you focus on the value of money and make you less likely to spend cash willy nilly.

Focus on energy

Energy is a hot topic this New Year, precisely because of the sheer amount of saving an average household can make if they focus on saving money on heating bills. A very clever, modern idea about saving cash on heating is to install a special reflective layer behind all your radiators. These reflect the heat back to the radiator and into your house, instead of allowing heat to be absorbed into walls. The result is less energy use and less money expended on household heating. There are lots of other ways to save energy while reaping the knock-on effects of saving money, for example switching off lights and appliances when they are not in use, getting leaks fixed and creating a budget around your energy consumption.

Phone bills

Phone bills are another big area where there is lots of scope to save cash. You should shop around for any mobile phone contract and think carefully when committing to any 18-month contract as within six months it may have become cheaper for you to go elsewhere. Check out mobi-data.co.uk for some of the best deals available in 2014 for data sim cards.

Household bills

Household bills mount up and up but clever ways to cut these are to reduce waste in the kitchen. Are you throwing away food regularly? Why don’t you try to avoid this by shopping for smaller amounts more often? Or shopping online?

Get your family on board

Whatever your approach to saving cash, it will really help to get your family on board. Sit down and have a chat about what you want to achieve and set targets for the whole family. You could even promise to spend a portion of any savings on a family treat like a holiday or a new, more energy efficient fridge! A group effort is certainly the best way forward as it can be frustrating when you see someone who leaves the tap on just as you were trying to reduce the water meter bill!

Personal Finance Action Plan: If Your Bank Goes Bust….

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Strain on the financial sector has been increasingly evident in recent years so much so that commentators even expected there to be a run on a bank in 2008 within the UK. Events of this nature only serve to highlight how we all need to be aware of what we should be doing if our bank is about to go bust, or if it announces it is in trouble.

Prepare for the worst

You should prepare for the worst when the going is good, so to speak. So, you aren’t worried about your bank at this time and there are no rumours of financial instability? Well, that does not mean you can rest on your honkers.

On the contrary it means you should be focused on an action plan of what to do if you access to money is suddenly cut off. It may be worth considering creating a ‘stash’ of physical essentials, for example a ‘stash’ of cash hidden somewhere only you know about. Be careful to stash any cash responsibly in a fireproof, secure tin or box. Other people may want to diversify their investments, and choose to invest for example in gold which won’t lose its value in a cash crisis.

Making claims

The Financial Services Compensation Scheme is something all UK residents are entitled to claim under if their bank or building society goes bust. Only authorised banks and lenders (like Wonga and Everline for example) are covered by the scheme, so you should always check whether your bank is authorised or not especially if you are thinking of a long term transaction like business loans or overdrafts. If not banking with that institution is riskier. This scheme guarantees 85,000 pounds of compensation to each individual who has lost money in the event of a bank or building society going under.

Prevention is better than cure

You should always remember that part of your action plan should reflect the prevention is better than cure approach. This means you can take steps now to mitigate any future losses. If you do so you are unlikely to be hit as hard by any banking crisis, so it pays to do a little research. It helps to know for example that money over 85,000 is not guaranteed under the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, so you may wish to diversify your portfolio of investments and invest in things that have a cash value, but are not adversely affected by any banking sector crisis.

One option for example is to buy gold or to invest in gold or valuable minerals. You could also choose to invest money in property, or in a business – this way you can expect to see a return on your investment. You should also check the individual application of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme to your portfolio of savings and investments. You may think you have several bank accounts all covered by the scheme, but one thing you absolutely need to check is if the bank is owned by the same parent group as this may affect your entitlement to make claims under compensation schemes in the event of a banking meltdown.

17 Ways to Get Free Money

Free cash Who says there’s no such thing as a free lunch?

Every year businesses give away thousands of dollars in free money and gift cards as a way of promoting their websites/products. We’ve put together a list of 16 of them who will give you a ridiculous $1,810.25 in free cash right now.

Some of them are as simple as filling out a form and some of them take a bit more effort, but you can easily knock out all of them in a couple of hours.

Without further ado, here are the 16 companies giving out free money right now….


1. Look at Your Budget on PersonalCapital.com – FREE $10.00

PersonalCapital.com, a portfolio management site, will give you $10 just to open a free account! For those of you who aren’t familiar with PC, their site reminds me a lot of Mint.com. Basically, you input your account information and then their website helps you track your investments, credit card balances and changes to your checking/savings accounts.

Personal Capital

The layout is pretty cool too – a number of full-color charts & graphs lets you easily visualize all of your financial accounts at once.

Here’s how to grab the $10…

1. Sign up for PersonalCapital.com using my referral link. The bonus is paid out via Paypal, so my advice is to signup for Personal Capital using your Paypal email address.

3. Add your financial account(s) to your Personal Capital dashboard. You must link at least one account in order to get the bonus.

4. Wait 30 days. Unfortunately, this bonus takes up to a month to pay out, but it’s free money so can I really complain? **You must be a legal resident of the 50 U.S. states or the District of Columbia and 18 years or older in order to claim the bonus**

Update 11/15/2013: This bonus has just changed. Instead of getting a free $10, they are now giving away $20 to Habitat for Humanity for each person that joins. 

Read more about it here: “Free $10 for Signing Up at Personal Capital

 

MotifInvesting2.  Trade Stocks at MotifInvesting.com – FREE $100.25

Motif Investing is unique among online brokers, because instead of picking individual stocks, you invest in a cluster of stocks (usually 20 to 30) from a similar field.  Sort of like a mutual fund, but the motifs range from Clean Energy, to Republican Companies, to Healthy and Tasty, to Obamacare.  Basically any interest you have or trend you’d like to invest in can be found on Motif…

Even, better they’re giving away a ton of cash right now. If you open a new account and make one trade, you’ll earn $50. Make 3 trades, and you’ll earn $75. Make 5 trades, and you’ll earn $150!

Now Motif charges $9.95 for each trade you make, so after making 5 trades, you’ll still be netting $100.25 in extra cash.  That’s like getting all of your transaction fees free AND earning $100 extra.  Sweet! Signup here - Free $150 Motif Promotion.

Read more about it here: “How to Make $100 This Week with Motif Investing

 

InboxDollars

3. Get Paid to Complete Tasks at InboxDollars.com – FREE $30.00

There are a number of sites on the web that will pay you to read advertiser’s emails, sign up for offers, and take surveys. I’ve tried about a million of them, but there are only a few of them that I would recommend. Inbox Dollars is one of those companies and I want to show you how I made $30 in a little over an hour completing offers on their site.

It’s free to join Inbox Dollars and best of all, they give you $5 just for signing up! Inbox Dollars just requires that you accumulate $30 in earnings before you can “cash-out” and they pay you by sending a check.

Some sample offers include one that asks you to sign up for a email newsletter from AMF Bowling. That pays 50 cents and takes about 15 seconds. Another offer asks you to sign up for a free account at Turbotax.com to earn $3.50. These are simple and there are nearly a hundred of them to choose from.

If you are interested in giving Inbox dollars a try, visit the sign-up page here to get started.

Read more about it here: “How to Make $30 Quickly with InboxDollars

 

Capital ONe 3604. Try Banking at Capital One 360 – FREE $50.00

About a year ago, Capital One took over ING Direct and started offering free online checking accounts. What’s even cooler is that they’ll give you $50 just to open one.

I’ve already got a checking account that I’m pretty happy with, but I don’t mind opening a second one for some free cash. :)

Here’s how to do it:

1. Open a free checking account with Capital One 360.

2. There’s no minimum deposit with this account, but you’ve got to make at least 3 purchases with your Capital One 360 debit card during the first 45 days of opening the account.

3. On the 50th day, Capital One 360 will deposit a free $50 in your account. Sweet! For those of you who aren’t familiar with Capital One 360, they are a pretty popular virtual bank that gives spectacular interest rates. It’s completely free to open and maintain an account with Capital One 360.

Go claim your $50 and take yourself out to lunch.

Read more about it here: “Free Money Alert: Get $50 from Capital One 360

 

NetSpend5. Open a Netspend.com Account – FREE $20.00

This is another easy $20 just for requesting a prepaid, reloadable card from Netspend. I’ve tested this one and over 200 hundred readers have cashed in on this, so you know it’s a good one.

1. Click HERE and ”Open a NetSpend account” for FREE.

2. You will receive your NetSpend “Visa” Debit card within 10 business days. Mine made it here in 4 days.

3. Once you receive the card, simply log into NetSpend and activate it.

4. In order to get the FREE $20, you’ll need to load the card with a minimum of $40.00 using PayPal, a bank account or one of the other many options.

5. Once you load the $40.00, NetSpend will add $20.00 to your available balance on the card. I confirmed this myself with my own card.

6. Go to the ATM and withdraw the $60.00 total from your card or spend the funds at your local store, online, or wherever you can use a credit card. Yes, if you withdraw the money via ATM or cash back, you’ll be hit with the $2.00 fee for a PIN transaction or a $2.50 ATM Fee (would only be $17.50 – $18.00 bonus in this case). But, you can avoid the fee by ACH transferring it for free back to your bank

Read more it here: “Free $20 Cash for Signing Up at Netspend

 

Online Shopping Cart6. Do Your Shopping via Ebates.com – FREE $10.00

The folks over at Ebates.com, the cash-back shopping site, are giving away $10 gift cards when you sign-up as a new member. You can choose either a $10 Target, Walmart, Macy’s, or Kohl’s gift card. You need to make a $25 purchase at any of the stores on their shopping list in order to qualify for the free gift card.

I certainly don’t recommend spending $25 just to get a $10 gift card, but if you have plans to buy something online anyway, I would definitely cash in on this… Especially if you’ve got a gift card from a birthday or Christmas that needs to be spent. Look at this as a way to get a little bit extra back on your purchase.

Some of the cash-back offers I use frequently include the 3% back on iTunes purchases, 1% back on Apple store purchases, and 3% back on Target purchases. But there are a ton of stores to pick from as well.

Read more about it here: “Get a FREE $10 Target Gift Card from Ebates.com

 

OptionsXpress7. Sign Up an Account at OptionsExpress – FREE $100.00

Here’s another great way to make some free cash. This one is through OptionsXpress, a Charles Schwab affiliated brokerage house where you can trade stocks and options.

From now until December 31, 2013, OptionsXpress is offering new US customers a $100 bonus when you open an Individual or Joint account and fund it with at least $500.

1. Open a new Individual or Joint account (IRAs, other tax-exempt, linked, or shared accounts are excluded from this offer).

2. Fund your new account with at least $500 cash or securities transferred from a brokerage firm other than OptionsXpress.

3. Make at least 3 trades within 12 months of account opening.

4. The $100 bonus will be deposited into your account within one month of meeting the terms and conditions of this offer.

5. Maintain at least $500 in your account for 6 months (excluding trading losses), if not, the $100 bonus will be deducted from your account.

Read more about it here: “Look! OptionsExpress is Giving Away a Free $100 to New Account Holders

 

American Express Reward Credit Card8 – 12. Sign Up for a New Credit Card – FREE $1,375.00

One of the best ways for a Penny Hoarder to make some serious extra cash is to take advantage of credit card sign up bonuses.  Of course, to get the most benefit, you should have excellent credit, and you should routinely pay off your credit card in full each month so you’re not paying interest.  (After all, every time you pay interest, you’re losing some of the positive effects of the bonuses.)

Just recently I received over $1,300+ in credit card bonuses by selectively choosing new cards to apply for and use.  All I had to do was put my regular spending on the credit card over the course of a few months.

Barclaycard Arrival - $400 Signup Bonus

US Bank FlexPerks Card -  $175 Signup Bonus

Chase Sapphire Preferred Card - $400 Signup Bonus

Citi ThankYou Preferred Card - $200 Signup Bonus

American Express Gold - $200 Signup Bonus

For those of you wondering, here’s a great article on how to do this without hurting your credit score: How Opening and Closing Credit Cards Affects Your Credit Score

Read more about it here: “5 Credit Card Promotions That Made me $1,375

 

$25 bonus for opening an ira account

13. Take 5 Minutes and Open a Betterment.com Account – FREE $25.00

Betterment is a simple, online tool that allows anyone to invest in stocks & bonds without incurring transaction fees. It’s become pretty popular with small investors who want to start saving, but can’t afford the expensive fees you find at places like Etrade.com and Merrill Lynch. Plus, they’ll give you a free $25 just to signup!

1.) Open a free account at Betterment.com. The form takes about 90 seconds to fill out, so can literally do this while sitting in the doctor’s office or while watching television.

2.) You need to make an opening deposit of $250 or more within 60 days of opening your account. If you’re not ready to make a deposit right now, my advice is that you go ahead and fill out the Betterment promotion form today. You can always make the deposit later, but this way you’ll have the promotion locked in, just in case the promotion ends.

3.) Once you’ve deposited $250 (and waited 60 days), Betterment.com will deposit a FREE $25 bonus into your account. How easy is that? You can then withdraw your entire account balance or you can keep the $275 invested and earning interest with Betterment.

Right now this is USA only.

Read more about it here: “How to Make $25 While Sitting in a Waiting Room

 

Serve

14. Open an Account at Serve.com – FREE $50.00

Serve is American Express’s version of a prepaid, reloadable card and they are offering $50 when you open a free account, sign up for direct deposit and have two direct deposits put in your account. That’s a FREE $50 for about 5 minutes of work. Sweet!

And here’s a tip: You can direct deposit a number of things besides your regular paycheck. I like to keep my paycheck going to my primary bank account, but for bank bonuses, I use other sources of income to fund it. Try to think of another place that you get monthly income from. Do you get a social security check? Insurance check? Second job income? Mystery shopping payouts?  A number of the “paid-to-email” sites also offer direct deposit. I know that Fusion Cash does, because I get a nice cash-out from them on the 20th of every month.

Here’s a link to the promo page:     Serve.com $50 Bonus

Read more about Serve.com here: “How to Get a Free $50 from Serve.com

 

Walgreens Logo

15. Transfer Your Prescription to a New Pharmacy- FREE $25.00

If you’re one of the 70% of Americans with a monthly prescription from your doctor, I’ve got an easy way for you to make $25 bucks. Several of the national grocery and drug store chains have been know to run promotions where they will give you free cash or a gift card when you transfer a prescription to their store.

For example, this month Walgreens is running a promotion where they will give you a $25 gift card for transferring a prescription to your local Walgreens. You can usually find these coupons in your Sunday newspaper circulars or on coupon blogs like DealSeekingMom.com and MoneySavingMom.com. You can even repeat this deal every month with a different pharmacy. :)

Read more about it here: “Here’s a Neat Trick to Make $25/month if You Have a Prescription

 

iPhone Being Held in a Hand

16. Download the Mobile Expressions App on Your Smartphone or Tablet – FREE $15.00

MobileXpression is a research company that studies internet trends and reports to their clients about the popularity of different mobile phone websites. They are currently looking for a few thousand cell phone and tablet users to share some of the websites they are browsing on their mobile devices. All of the sharing is done with a special software that is installed on your phone and it doesn’t require any real work from you. Plus, they’ll give you a free $15 just to give it a try. Even better, you can also uninstall the software at any time if you decide you no longer want to participate.

How it works…

1. Sign up at MobileXpressions here – You’ll need to share a little bit of information about your demographic which is similar to signing up as a Nielsen household. You’ll also need to tell them what kind of cell phone you have, because their software is only compatible with certain types of phones.

2. Download their software – It seems to be pretty easy and it runs in the background of your phone just like any other cell phone app. The site says it will have no affect on your mobile phone performance.

3. Send your data – This step doesn’t really require any work from you as the software automatically send the relevant data to MobileXpression. They don’t monitor your phone calls or personal information but they do check out the web pages you view, the links you access, and the usage times for certain device activities (e.g., text messaging, call lengths, and web browsing).

4. Collect your rewards – MobileXpressions will send you a $15 Visa gift card just for signing up and downloading the software. They also reward members with weekly contests and will have a drawing for $100,000 jackpot at the end of the year.

Read more about it here: “Get Paid $15 to Share Your Favorite Website

 

There you have it. If you’ve finished the list, you’ve just made $1810.25 in FREE money.

Feel free to take the weekend off.

Good luck Penny Hoarders!

Note: we want to be up front with you on this – we may have a relationship with some of these companies. While we genuinely recommend them, we do want you to be aware that they’re a sponsor and are helping to grow The Penny Hoarder as a community.

Source: “How to Get Free Money – These 17 Companies Will Give You $1,820.25

Why Should I Go Online for Car Finance?

The simple answer is that in most circumstances you are more likely to be approved for such a loan. If you have a good credit history, regular long term employment and are in control of your finances then everyone will accept you anyway. However, the financial companies concentrating on the Internet seem to be proactive in offering facilities across the board to people in all kinds of different circumstances.



Website lenders

Whether you have started to look for cars or not, you can look online and find quality lenders that are using the Internet to reach the market place. They generally begin with the principle that even those with some previous problems in their credit history will be intent on repaying any loan that is granted. The whole point is that there is a service being provided and a profit that can be made by using good judgement.

If you do your research and find a website that you believe can help you, it’s usually a simple application procedure and if your documentation is complete – a quick response. You have to tell the lender who you are, where you live and make a financial case to get approval; that will involve details of your regular income and expenditure perhaps backed up by bank statements. If you are self-employed you will certainly need to provide recent bank statements to assist with your application.

Quick decisions

The decision is likely to be the same day unless your application is made just as the office is closing. Once you get an approval you will get 28 days to make your car choice and let your lender know. If you already have a car in mind, once you are approved it will only be a matter of days before you are driving it away. You simply let the company know of your choice and the dealer involved and the money will go direct by bank transfer.

You will not need any deposit because the decision on approving car finance deals is based upon your credibility. Once your instalment payments commence you may find your financial circumstances change; if suddenly you have more money and want to settle the loan there will be no penalty for early settlement and you will be welcome to return again in the future.

Realism

You need to be realistic in what you are applying for. You can use the interactive online calculator to find out the monthly instalment cost of a specific loan amount over a given period. The interest rate is the other variable but it will not vary enormously from what is stated at the outset unless you have a poor credit history. You may need to talk to an adviser within the company if you exceed the amount that the company are comfortable about granting.

If you are looking for the best car financing it is certainly worth looking through quality websites where there are competitive interest rates, a high approval rate and quick decisions as soon as you have provided the information needed to show you can afford the repayments.

Build up Your Business Once Step at a Time

Starting your own company is an excellent way to use your talents and skills to improve the world around you.  As with any sturdy foundation, you’ll be wise to build the company one block at a time with careful consideration for the financial obligations that you’ll have to meet along the way.  Whether you’re saving for your taxes or VAT or you just want to have the necessary funding to keep the cash flow in your company moving forward, you should have a plan for managing your money effectively.  By paying close attention to your income and your expenditures, you can successfully have the money whenever you need to expand your company or honour the obligations expected from productive businesses.

Start with a Cornerstone of Strength

  • You should have an emergency fund that’s set aside for events you don’t expect or plan on.  These funds should not be touched unless you really need them and will be different from the money that you are saving for company expansion.  You’ll want the money to be accessible without any penalties being charged if you have to take some of it out to cover expenses such as taxes.

  • Determine how much you can save by examining your company’s budget and making the necessary adjustments to begin this reliable account.  Whether you have to forgo the new piece of equipment or the new truck to get your tools from place to place you should save what you can on a regular basis.  As with your personal savings vehicles, you’ll want to have an automatic withdrawal from your business checking account so that you won’t ever see these funds or be tempted to use them.

  • Set a goal for this fund and increase the contributions whenever it’s possible.  Should you receive a bonus from a job that is completed before a deadline or receive a job that you didn’t expect, you might want to put a portion of it into your accessible account to cover the financial obligations that will accompany doing business here in the UK.

Take the Right Steps

  • Keep this account separate from your other savings accounts.  You will want to have your own personal savings plan set aside from the accounts in which you save money to build up your business.  This account will be used for the sole purpose of paying taxes or VAT or for adding new equipment to your inventory; you’ll enjoy saving for tools that can improve the quality of your work and persuade new clients to use your company.

  • Take the first step toward making your future more secure.  You may not be aware of the types of savings plans that are available to you but researching the advantages of owning one of the GE Capital savings accounts can help you to lay the right groundwork for financial stability and growth.

Building your business will take a great deal of work but with the right plan for savings you’ll soon see expansion of your company and enjoy the satisfaction of a job well done.

4 Things to Consider For Your USA Road Trip

car-picUndoubtedly, the best way to see all of the USA is to go on a road trip.  Although it might sound as simple as packing a few bags, there’s a lot more to the process than you might at first conceive. To explain what we mean, we’ve created this comprehensive list of the 4 things to consider for your USA road trip.

4 – Car Verses Van

Your choice of road vehicle will affect how your trip turns out. For example, there are trade-offs such as the space afforded by a van, versus the cost of renting one.  What this means is that if you have the money you can have a slightly more luxurious experience, but you might not be able to see and do as much due to limited funds. Regardless of your decision, other costs such as car/van insurance and gas need to be considered into your financial forecast: you don’t want to end up stranded.

Tip: An insurer like Sky Insurance covers both cars and vans, so whichever route you go down you don’t need to worry.

3 – Flexible Routes

Try not to plan out your ‘to-do list’ in full.  Have sights you’d like to see and things you’d like to experience, but mapping out your route exactly could lead to disappointment if one of the attractions is closed or the weather doesn’t favour a stop in the national park you’ve been desperate to hike through. Have realistic expectations and a flexible plan.

Tip: Here’s a huge list of things to do in the USA.

2 – Accommodation

One of the things that makes travelling around America uniquely challenging is that there are very few hostels or cheap places to stay. You’ll therefore need to be a bit creative when choosing where you’re going to spend your nights.  Before you go, check to see if any of your friends or friends’ friends has relatives in the cities you’re going to, and see if you could stay with them.  Otherwise, looking for budget hotels is probably your best bet.

Tip: Couch surfing is free and a good way of getting to know local people.

1 – Travel Companions

You might have decided that travelling with your best friend’s friend would be fun, but do you really want to be sharing your experiences with somebody you don’t really know all that well?  Choose your travelling companion wisely: after all, you’ll need to be able to trust them if anything goes wrong.

Tip: Being with anyone 24 hours a day can be tough, so try to stay relaxed.